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BJP-ruled states get more Covid-19 vaccine doses, alleges Maharashtra minister Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra's Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said the state is facing discrimination with respect to the distribution of doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the Centre.

UPDATED: April 8, 2021 15:07 IST

Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday accused the Centre of “discrimination” in the distribution of the vials of Covaxin and Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccines approved in India. Rajesh Tope alleged that the BJP-ruled states got more doses of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Rajesh Tope’s charge came a day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan rebutted his earlier claims about the shortage of vaccine doses in Maharashtra. Maharashtra has been the worst-affected state in both the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic in India.

“I have just got information that we have got additional stock. We have now got 17 lakh doses. It is still less compared to the demand of 40 lakh doses that we have made,” said Rajesh Tope.

Earlier, Rajesh Tope had said inoculation had to be halted at several places in Maharashtra, including at Raigad district’s Panvel and Satara.

Maharashtra is leading in Covid-19 vaccination and other states are being given massive stocks, Rajesh Tope said. He said, “We want 40 lakh doses per week. That’s it.”

Tope compares doses given to Gujarat, Maharashtra

Rajesh Tope said the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh was supplied with 48 lakh doses, Madhya Pradesh with 40 lakh doses, Gujarat with 30 lakh doses and Haryana with 24 lakh doses per week.

“Gujarat has a population of 6 crores, they got 1 crore doses. We have a population of 12 crores, we got 1.04 crore doses,” said Rajesh Tope.

Maharashtra is ruled by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which is a coalition of the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.

Dr Harsh Vardhan has assured of action: Tope

Rajesh Tope said, “I immediately spoke to Dr Harsh Vardhan and asked him about the discrimination. We have the highest number of cases, a huge population and 57,000 deaths. Then why is such discrimination [against Maharashtra]?”

Rajesh Tope said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan assured him that he would speak to officials concerned and ensure a course correction.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope reiterated the demand for making vaccination available for all adults.

Rajesh Tope said several countries including the US began inoculating all above 18 years of age since this was the group that went outdoors most of the time.

To deal with the shortage of vaccine supply, Rajesh Tope said the Maharashtra government has already sent a proposal for the production of vaccines to the Haffkine Institute, a Mumbai-based biomedical research firm.

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